tv House Session CSPAN June 23, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
let it flow down the deep water channel to about here, just north of rio vista, put in a single ship lock and a pump alternative one, put it in a small pipe through the delta down here to this area and then in an open channel along what is called old river take it down to the pumps. it could deliver two million acre-feet of water to the pumps at tracy most years. in this drought year, it wouldn't be possible. a second alternative is to take it down the deep water channel, 3,000 feet to the shipping lock and the pump put it into a
canal that goes behind rio vista here crosses sherman island at the confluence of the sacramento and san joaquin river and over to contra costa county and to the pumps. this solution creates a fail safe solution for about seven million people that live in the san francisco bay area because this particular route intersects six aqueducts, the solano aqueduct here, this would intersect it, down here in contra costa, the east bay, municipal aqueduct, contra costa county aqueduct, the los vaqueros aqueduct for the los vaqueros river. and also the south bay aqueduct going all the way down to silicon valley. what's happened, if this
solution were chosen, should that need ever arise that for some reason these critical water districts that supply the water to the entire bay area could get access to the sacramento river water. so if for some reason the delta was to become saline as a result of a collapse of a levee system or any other reason we have a fail safe solution for the entire bay region, except may run county which has -- mar incounty which has -- marin county which has its own system. so these would be right size, provide two million acre-feet of water, roughly 40% to 45% of that needed for the southern delta, for los angeles and the san joaquin valley. that's the little sip solution.
a route through the delta, a pipeline from here. on the east side of old river to the pumps or canal across contra costa and so law noah county. either of them would work and would be a fraction of the cost of the massive twin tunnels that would come this direction destroying the agricultural communities here in portland and clarksburg and putting at risk the entire delta because of the enormous size. this is a 15,000 cubic foot per second tunnel system. granted, they're only going to build three of the intakes here on the sacramento river. ok. good to have only three. that gives you 9,000 which is roughly 2/3 of the water going down the sacramento river half of the year, what does that mean for the delta? it means the delta is going to be salty and deprived of the fresh water that this estuary
needs. all they need to do is put in one more intake and then they could take all the water half of the year. don't do it. never build something that could be so destructive of such a precious natural resource as the delta. so this is the little sip. where is the -- where does the rest of the water come? it's called the big gulp. even in this drought year there have been two very heavy rains that have sent a surge of water down the san joaquin and down to sacramento. the pumps were turned on, not to their full might but the pumps were turned on and the water was shipped to the south. ok, it worked. and it -- can it work in the future? in normal years there is sufficient water in the delta, in the normal year, to get another two to two and a half million acre-feet and that's the
big gulf. -- big gulp. so combine a small facility with a big gulp when the water is available in the delta. keep in mind that this project and the twin tunnel project that the governor is proposing both require storage south of the delta. neither project will work, and in fact the california water system today will not work without storage south of the delta. and that's why you back up to the map of all california, we have stories. there's talk of enlrging -- enlarging shasta reservoir here, talk of building a new reservoir here at temperance flat. there's talk of enlarging, in fact, this one is almost certain to happen enlarging los vaqueros vezzvoir, the san luis
vezzroir needs to be rebuilt because of earthquake safety and could be expanded. there's another one south of it that's another large reservoir and of course the ockfers in the entire central valley of california. we've already talked about the aquifers in southern california. you have to have storage south of the delta. if you have storage south of the delta, then the governor's plan or my plan, the little sip-big gulp plan will work. storage is absolutely essential in all of these configurations. fail to do the storage and nothing is going to work. so let me just review what we been talking about here. we've been talking about a water plan for all california. conservation to be sure, the great agricultural areas even over here in the latest valley. conservation along this entire area. conservation in the great metropolitan areas and the bay
area. in doing sthork state zone estimate was five million. let's say you get three million acre-feet. agricultural conservation, urban conservation, three million acre-feet of new water, water that's currently unavailable, but there, recycling, we talk about recycling here in southern california. $2 billion to $3 billion investment will give you a million acre-feet of water and you already have the storage systems in place, the underground aquifers of southern california. similarly, recycling in the bay area. sacramento, right here is starting today just a month ago, a new recycling program, $2 billion recycling program in sacramento. to recycle water, some for that area, the rest to put clean water down the area, rather than some other water which is a little shady system of recycling, another million acre -- acre-feet. maybe more as you bring on the recycling in the bay area.
now we've got three million to four million acre-feet of water. storage systems add, it's estimated that the sites reservoir can add in this drought year were it available would have been 900,000 acre-feet of water in this drought year. of course it's not built, not available, but on the average it should provide 500,000, 400,000 to 600000 acre-feet of water annually. plus as i describe -- as i described earlier the ability to reoperate the great reservoirs and together be able to perhaps get even more water as a result of sites reservoir. the other reservoirs can provide adegreesal water also. we ought to be able, through these processes, to get somewhere near five million acre-feet of new water for california. if we have conservation, if we have the storage and we are able
to get through the current drought, it's a safe bet that five million acre-feet of annual water yield will carry california into the next 30 to 50 years. beyond that, depending on population growth and technologies, i had not mentioned the use of this water out here. that's the pacific ocean. desalination and recycling use the same idea. recycling is cheaper because it's cheaper to clean recycled water than cleaning ocean water. clearly desay lynnization is also in our -- desalinization is also in our future. down here a new recycling plant is going online. they were talking about one in santa barbara that was built and then moth balled because it rained again that one is likely
to go back online because of the current drought and in anticipation of future droughts. so those are the basic elements. conservation recycling creation of new storage systems, fixing the delta, the levees lit sip-big gulp strategy, science-driven process, keep in mind you've got to be right on the science otherwise you're going to destroy this extraordinarily valuable habitat of the delta and other places and finally, you better be paying attention to the water rights and laws of california, which unfortunately in the first iteration of the bill that passed congress four years ago just blew aside california water rights. if you want to start a big big water war, if you want to heighten and inflame a water war in california, push aside the water rights, which incidentally
is now taking place as a result of the drought. that's a water plan for all california. it's here, it's available, my website has it. i recommend it to anybody that's interested in a solution for california's long-term water problems and also i recommend to people that we have the federal government in the short-term align its water policy programs from the e.p.a., the environmental protection agency, the department of agricultural -- agriculture, the department of entire york army corps of engineer, that those water programs in the short-term be aligned with the state of california's bond act so that we can promote, augment, and advance the projects that would be undertaken in the $7 billion water bond that the california voters passed last november. so my plea to those who think the tunnels are the solution is, stop. take another look. take another look at the little
sip-big gulp solution. this actually was something that was first proposed by the natural resources defense council, we were working with this about four weeks ago. they came up with the little sip-big gulp name and with some modification it's now a proposal that would cost a fraction of what the twin, massive, 40-foot in diameter tunnels would cost. so for california, there's a future. it's the golden state. it's an economy unmatched by any other in the united states. it's an economy, particularly well the entire state's economy is stretched -- stressed as a result of the drought and if we take the steps i've been talking about here, we'll be able to provide the water california needs in the next drought and in the years to come as the population grows and as the economy grows. so that's the water plan for all
california. there are many other pieces of the puzzle, one of which i'm going to take just a second to talk about and that's this week as we take up the appropriations for water programs in the state of california. we ought to be mindful, actually water plans for the united states not just the state of california. we ought to be mindful of a project called the land and water conservation fund a program that's been in effect for half a century. it takes the royalties from the offshore oil and minerals on shore and allows much of that royalty to be spent on preserving the special places of america. the wildlife refuges, very unique habitat areas setting aside those areas, using that money to buy up the land and in some cases to buy up easements so that the land will forever remain available to future generations in a more natural state. that's the land and water conservation fund.
unfortunately, the authorization for it expires this year and at the moment there's no perceived movement by the congress of the united states to reinstitute and re-authorize the land and water conservation fund. when i was deputy secretary at the department of the interior, we used this fund to set aside redwood forests along the coast of california, to protect the everglades of florida, to set aside some of the land along the sand dunes on the great lakes. and this is a project for all of america. one that's worthy of being re-authorized and properly funded. so with that, mr. speaker perhaps enough about california's drought. no, i take that back. we've got a problem in california tell -- in california. short-term and long-term. and it deserves the attention of
the congress of the united states because this california is the seventh largest economy in the world and critically important to the future of this nation. mr. speaker i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015,, the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, for 30 minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you mr. speaker. has been a tough week for all christians in the country have lost three brothers and six sisters and the -- at the
church in charleston, south carolina. the whole country mourns. probably not everybody. evil has those who support it, wallow in it, as did the evil perpetrator of the killings. so our prayers continue to go out to the immediate family members, to the church family members, for their peace and for their comfort. because those of us who are believers know that those we've lost are at the foot of the save yor in paradise -- savior in paradise. i learned today the president will be going to speak at the funeral.
i recall a speech in arizona and so as i encouraged our prayer caucus tonight, you know, we should be praying for the president to be a uniter, as he speaks. and i thought about the way a great president named abraham lincoln concluded his second inaugural address the war was not over, there was great hatred and bitterness. of course he mentioned in his inaugural address talking about north and south, both read the same bible both pray to the same god, each invokes his aid against the other. he goes on to give what is one
of the great theological treats is on the nature of god -- treatises on the nature of god, quotes from the old testament a couple of times. but with all the killing that occurred during the civil war he ended, tried to encourage uniting. i know there are those who advised the president that he should not let a good crisis go to waste, but for many of us, the hope and prayer is that this week's funeral, he will be a uniter. lincoln closed his second inaugural with the words with challis -- with malice toward none with charity toward all with firm innocence the right that quod gives us to see -- that god gives us to see the
right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nations wounded, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. that was a man who sought to unite who knew there was a heavenly father to whom we could pray and who would answer our prayers. i hope and pray that will be the outcome at the funeral of my brothers and sisters in charleston south carolina. of course then there's the judge side of me, having sentenced people both to prison and to death the judge side of
me says from what we know those cry out for the death penalty, but we'll let the justice system in south carolina take care of that. in the meantime, as we think about injustice, it's also hard not to think of our friends our allies in israel who have trouble finding any friends, they're persecuted on every side. then we get this report from the u.n., an article talking about it from marisa newman. the times of israel. israel slams politically motivated and morally flawed u.n. gaza report.
the article says, israel on monday said it would seriously evaluate the united nations human rights council inquiry on the gaza conflict while politicians from left and right slam the international body for bias and declared that the international investigators lacked access to evidence. the article goes on down further the report is bias, said prime minister benjamin netanyahu, in response. israel is not perpetrating war crimes but rather protecting itself from an organization that carries out war crimes. we won't sit back with our arms crossed as our citizens are attacked by thousands of missiles. it says, quote, the article says, the human rights council, quote, in practice does everything but worry about human rights, unquote, the prime minister charged.
quote, the commission spends more time condemning israel than iran, syria, north korea put together unquote. and it seems that these are the times that cry out for moral, pragmatic and unified response to the anti-semitism that's growing. it's just unbelievable. in europe, in the united states , colleges and universities. it's incredible. i mean, the bible talks about times when right will be wrong and wrong will be right. perhaps we're entering such an era. but for a country like israel to be under attack on virtually
every front, every side, and to have palestinians, radical islamists, iranians who declared that they will see that it is annihilated, leaders of whom make statements such as, we're glad that they're gathered in israel so that we can annihilate them all at once and the u.n. basically sees somehow level parties on the same plane. terrorists and people who promote democratic beliefs, carry them out, allow people to vote. believe in the rights of women. believe in equal rights a place where muslims can freely vote and don't have to worry
about a radical islamist killing them if he or she does believe and perform exactly like their radical islamist leader tells them to. the article says, the poor ministry, talking about the israeli foreign ministry, also castigated the u.n. human rights council investigation for failing to distinguish between the israeli military and hamas. quote it is regrettable that the report fails to recognize the profound difference between israel's moral behavior during operation protective edge, and the terror organizations it confronted. unquote. a minister compared the conflict to a palestinian suicide bomber commandeering a bus full of palestinian
civilians and ramming it into an israeli tank. many palestinians -- palestinian civilians would die, he told army radio, but that doesn't mean the tank is to blame. the u.n. panel's approach was absurd, he said in that it would require israel not to fire back when terrorists fire at its civilians because the terrorists are hiding behind their civilians. he also said the u.n. human rights commission's obsessive focus on israel points to anti-semitism, asked whether israel would have done better to cooperate with the panel, he said, you can't explain to people who are not prepared to listen. a leader also rejected the idea that israel should have cooperated saying the panel had drawn its conclusions before it even began its probe. and it goes on to discuss the
report from the so-called human rights council. the united nations human rights council is an abomination. it should be an affront, as it is an outrage to anyone who cares about human rights. so what's happened at the united nations? we have had so many nations join the united nations that don't care about human rights, they don't care about women of course they're so brutal in the treatment of those who would oppose it that apparently it's scares off -- apparently it scares off feminist groups who are afraid to attack those who really are inhumane in their treatment of women.
enough so the feminist liberal groups are afraid to take them on. but hopefully someday they'll gain the courage to see where women are truly being abused in horrendous ways and they'll join with some of the rest of us in trying to stop that instead of going after christian groups or groups who believe that everyone once conceived should have the right to live. maybe some of those groups, if they quit attacking those who are pro-life and spent a little time attacking those who are true abusers of women, we'd find common footing and we'd be able to work better together. another article here.
this one headline u.n. report denies israel's right of self-defense advocates arrest of israelis instead. it really is outrageous and the united states should, as has been suggested by some writers, we should withdraw from participation in the human rights commission. the i.c.c., international criminal court obviously from its actions and its efforts, is quite anti-semitic. the united states has no business supporting the efforts of those who support the effort
and abuse of israelis and the effort to eliminate them from off of the globe. if there had been an israel during the holocaust jews would have had a place to go and there would not have been six million killed in the holocaust. this is no time for anyone who cares about world peace and the avoidance of suffering to stand up and decry israel. this is a time to stand with israel. an actual democratic republic in the middle of the middle east respects women like no nation around in the middle east supports the value of life and private property. how in the world are we not a better friend to them?
i would like to see, as some writers have suggested, that we would draw -- we withdraw from anything that might lend our support to the international criminal court because if it's anti-central -- because of its anti-semitic views. i realized as i was reading these articles about additional anti-semitic earth by the u.n. -- effort by the u.n., look, the u.n. has been overtaken by so many countries, they don't believe in human rights for their people, so many of them, they're abusive, have no problem with torturing those with whom they disagree have no problem killing people who convert from, for example, from islamic beliefs to christian beliefs, gets the death penalty in some of these countries you know it's time to begin a new
organization of democratic republics that respect the rights of women men, children and have elections, fair elections. let's have an international community like that. . an international group so that when it speaks it's not with blood dripping off of the votes of its members. it would mean something. the human rights commission for example, had for a while libya as its head. are you kidding me? i realized as i was reviewing
these articles, i haven't filed the bill i usually file, the u.n. accountability act what i've learned around here is that if you keep filing a bill long enough if you don't care who gets the credit, you get it done. the u.n. accountability bill is simple. it says any nation that votes against the united states more than half the time in the preceding year would get no assistance from the united states of any kind whatsoever. i've said for years you don't have to pay people to hate you, they'll do it for free. it's still true. so it's time to leave that money here. it's time for this administration to stop sending
weapons that it knows have continuously fallen in the hands of the islamic state, and made it extremely difficult for the courageous kurdish fighters to fight and defeat the radical islamic state. let's start sending those weapons directly to the kurds. baghdad is not letting them get them and they cannot easily defeat the weapons, the up-armored vehicles, the things that we've sent that we knew ultimately were falling into islamic state hands. as some muslim freppeds, leaders in other states have continued to ask -- friends, leaders in other states have continued to
ask, why is it that the united states administration keeps helping the muslim brotherhood? don't they know that's who is at war with the united states? why do you keep helping your enemies, they ask. it's time that we quit helping our enemies it's time that we help those here at home. i applaud our conference passing the bills we did tonight. one is going to make it easier for seniors to get access to the health care that obamacare has made it very difficult for them to get. so there is some good news and our prayers continue so that by the end of the week there will be even better news. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. does the gentleman have a motion. mr. gohmert: i move that we do
of silence to honor the victims of the church shooting in charleston, south carolina. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sanford: mr. speaker, in a moment i'll request a moment of sigh lenls. before i do, i stand here with other members of the south carolina delegation save our colleague jim clyburn who right now is back home visiting with the grieved families on the coast of south carolina. and many of us like senator scott and others, will be going back during this week to visit with those same families. i'm joined as well by members of the black caucus and members of this body who have been deeply shaken by the events of this last week in charleston, south carolina. i rise with this group on behalf of the nine families who have been impacted back home,
on behalf of the people of the first district of south carolina, and on behalf of the people of south carolina who have shown a whole lot of heart and a whole lot of love here over the last week. i say this because less than a week ago, as we all know, a young man with incomprehensible malice came into the mother a.m. church and did the unthinkable, as he joined the bible study and he gunned down nine of the members, the parishioners there at church. but fortunately our story doesn't end there. because the family members of the victims also did the unthinkable. i say that because they're at the bond at the bond hearing they
did the imaginable in showing human grace, reflecting god's grace, not repaying evil with evil, the bond hearing, the first family comes up and says, i mean, incomprehensible pain but i forgive you. next family comes up, incredible pain, but i forgive you. and those are the words that were repeated by each of the nine families. i forgive you. that set the stage in charleston for a level of community that i have never seen in my life and amazing things done at the church and community at large. we all stand here to remember the names of the nine victims and pause for a. would you all stand for a moment.
the reverend pinck nmp ey, cynthia hurd, cynthia singleton. the reverend daniels, the reverend middleton and suesey jackson. would you join us in a moment of silence. >> harry reid called on south carolina to take down the confederate battle flag from statehouse grounds. his remarks are next. the lawmakers in south carolina debate whether to remove the flag. later, hillary clinton holds an event at a church in missouri.
mr. reid: the nation's heart remains broken over the tragedy in charleston, south carolina. a man full of hate took the lives of nine worshipers. once again pain has been inflicted on americans. once again the people of a community as they struggle to reconnect to put the pieces of their lives back together. once again we're looking at our newspapers watching our tv screens and talking at our dinner tables about why why did this happen. as the painful details emerge, we can't turn away from the hard truth this tragedy lays bare. racism still exists in our society.
we have to accept that reality. if we ever hope to change, mr. president, we have to accept that reality. i watched this weekend as pundits and the nation's thought leaders attempted to address this issue by sidestepping the truth. this violent act was racially motivated. can we have order in the senate? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. reid: this violent attack was racially motivated plain and simple. it was intended to terrorize the african-american community in charleston and around this nation. 50 years ago dr. martin luther king led a march here in washington. 50 years after congress passed the civil rights act 50 years after the march for voter rights in selma 50 years after congress passed the voter rights act we must still face the hard truth about race in america. mr. president, can we have order in the senate?
the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. : mr. reid: the truth is we still have much to do. we have much to overcome. we have no choice. one cannot ignore this underlying issue. it deeply troubles our nation that hatred and bigotry persists. the harsh realities of hate and bigotry in this country make far too many in this country feel their lives don't matter. it's easy to feel your life doesn't matter when the odds are stacked against you every place you look on every hand. here are some of the facts: african-americans face on a daily basis: nearly half of all african-american families live in poor neighborhoods for at
least two generations. 50% compared to 7% of white families. an african-american man is far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms than a white man. in the state system the numbers are more skewed than that. these facts demonstrate how countless men and women face unprecedented challenges to be still judged by the color of their skin than by the content of their character. we have a moral obligation to change these realities. we must ensure all americans know their lives matter. standing for what is right calling out bigotry and hatred. it's hard to fathom that even as
a community of charleston grapples with the devastation there is a confederate flag at the statehouse in colombia. it is a symbol of a dark past from which our country has come. it does not and should not represent our values and the way we treat our fellow americans. it is a symbol of slavery. it is a symbol of white supremacy. there is no other way to explain it. it is a symbol of the ku klux klan. it's not just who we are. the flag should be removed and
now. this day governor haley of south carolina said in the capital of south carolina the flag should not be flown. she said we will do this in spite of what the state legislature feels. soy applaud her. i appreciate her courageous act. the confederate flag has no place in the future of south carolina. it belongs in the past every place in america not just south carolina. everyone who desires to fly that flag on private property can do so but no state in this great nation should allow this flag to soar above the capitol. we must always stand for what is right. we must stand for equality and justice, back and defend e. we must preserve the rights of every american not because it is
the safe thing to do, not because it is popular. we must stand and defend equality and justice because it is the right thing to do. we must take meaningful action to ensure the safety of our citizens. once again our hearts are broken as another community stprug tkpwels to recover -- struggles to recover from a mass shooting. i want to mention a few of them, just a few of them. fort hood, 13 americans killed. this was on a military base. tucson arizona six americans killed. carson city, nevada; four americans killed. connecticut, 27 americans dead. boulder, colorado -- a movie theater -- 12 killed. the navy yard, here, just a few maybe a mile from here at the most here in the district of
columbia 12 killed. charleston, south carolina, of course we know, nine killed. these are not all the violent acts. these are but a handful. all these violent events occurred within the past few years. our country, the united states, is the only advanced country where this type of mass violence occurs. the only country. we're the capital of america we kill each other at a rate 297 times higher than japan 33 times higher than israel. in every other country -- this is by far far too much. we can do something about this sad, violent reality. let's do something. we can expand, for example background checks for people wanting to buy guns, to prevent a criminal from buying guns. is that asking too much?
the mentally ill? criminals? more than 80% of the american people support this. why can't we in congress support it? we should support not giving guns to people who are mentally ill and felons. i know people can say ep wasn't felon. # maybe so. but couldn't we do something? couldn't we at least do this little thing to stop people who are sick in the head, people who
are criminals from purchasing guns? couldn't we at least do that. i understand the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, and that's what we're doing. for the future of our country we have to change. in the face of racism and bigotry, we must act. we can't do nothing. we must prevent felons from gunning down innocent americans in broad daylight. if we do not, we will be here again. our hearts will be broken again. and we're going to have to ask ourselves how we allowed another senseless tragedy to take place while we stand by >> on our facebook page, we are asking the question should the confederate flag be removed from the south carolina statehouse grounds? here are a couple of your comments. "the forced removal will result
in an all-time record of confederate flags trying high -- flying high on property all over south carolina." "it is more than a symbol of treason, it represents a mindset of hatred and divisiveness. it is time to move forward after a century and a half of mindless hatred." you can join the conversation. the south carolina state senate debated the removal of the confederate flag on the statehouse grounds in columbia. they agreed that they will take a progressive revolution to remove the flag. some also spoke about their colleague senator, one of nine people killed last week. >> i believe on the desk is an
amendment to amend the resolution. what that does -- and that want to make sure we understand this -- that resolution is drawn extremely narrow. we did that on purpose that the only things that can be taken up our to the flag. they cannot deviate to some other area. the area of the flag flies in now. i feel like this senate needs to command the resolution of this most important issue is extremely important issue for our state. the world is watching us. and i say this -- i believe that south carolina has handled this
situation as well as it could ever be handled. as i know you are, i'm extremely proud of the way our people handled this, in particular, the love and forgiveness shown to us. i sat and watched them. it brought tears to my eyes, i can tell you that. i think we need to move forward with this, and this allows the speaker and i to call it back when we need to. i will tell you this -- i want to do this as expeditiously as we can. i want to make sure we do it right, that we don't make mistakes. i assume that a bill or bills will be introduced on the senate floor today. i assume that they very well
could be introduced on the house floor. my point is we need to amend this in order to be able to take up whatever bills are put forth relative to the flag issue. i say this to you -- i really hope you will vote to amend this because if we don't, we can't take up any more bills -- no bills can be introduced unless we commend it to allow that. i ask you to support this amendment for the resolution and i will tell you that once we can sort out what it looks like, whether or not it goes to committee, i will expeditiously ask this to come back as quickly
as we can and that would be very quickly after we sorted it out. i would ask you to cast your vote on this to move forward. that would be my motion, and that requires a 2/3 vote. keep that in mind as you are casting your vote. >> the question is the adoption of the amendment of the senate. >> i would like the opportunity to be heard. >> proceed. >> mr. thurman thank you.
thank you, mr. president. fellow colleagues, i ask that you lend me your ears. your mind, your heart, for a few minutes. grieve the loss of my friend and colleague, the senator from jasper along with his eight sisters and brothers. we needed time to mourn the loss. the vigil that i attended was powerful and beautiful. i feel that i am out of place after thought and prayer to try and find the words to make a difference with you and with others. when i think of this senator from jasper, i think of how he touched me with that wonderful biblical speech about thomas during our body camera debate.
it was described as his finest moment. yet it was only a few weeks ago. he had so much more to offer yet was taken to soon, just at the age of 41. i am selfish because i do not want us to lose him. i want to continue, for him to continue, to be a pastor and husband and father and public servant that he is. when tragedy strikes, even christians ask why. why did this happen? why would someone with so much hate in their heart they would hurt others? i cannot comprehend the hate that was visited upon the holy city but i can't respond with love and unity and kindness, and maybe show others that their
motivation for future attacks will not be tolerated, will not result in a race war, will not divide us, but rather will strengthen our resolve coming together as one nation, one state, and one community under god. it is my understanding that the bible study that the senator was leading focused on the book of mark. chapter four verses 4-8. it discusses a pastor selling his seeds, how some were eaten by birds and others put in places where they couldn't grow due to poor soil and t horns. but others made it to good soil and they were able to multiply
30, 60, hundreds of times. this passage for me describes the work of public servants. there are times when we have ideas that spread quickly only to realize that we haven't had enough foundation to grow and assess the idea, and it is discarded. there are ideals of special interest creditors, flying in, and sometimes the ground is fertile. the time is right for there to be growth. i think the time is right in the ground is fertile for us to make progress as a state and to come together and remove the confederate battle flag from prominent statute outside the statehouse and put it in a museum. it is time to acknowledge our past atone for our sins, and work toward a better future.
that future must be built on symbols of peace love, and unity. that future cannot be built on symbols of war, hate, and divisiveness. as lawyers we are taught to see issues from both sides and so i want to discuss what i perceived to be both sides and make it clear that i reviewed this position and not simply reacting. on the one side, some feel the flag represents oppression, a constant reminder of the old south, of slavery. i understand why many citizens of south carolina feel that way. on the other hand, some say that the confederate battle flag represents the south's heritage and ancestry. >> let's talk about the heritage aspect. my family has been here for many
generations, my great-grandfather was with generally when he surrendered. i am aware of my heritage, but my appreciation that they accomplished to make my life that are does not in that i must believe that they always made the right decisions and for the life of me, i will not understand how anyone could find -- fight a civil war to continue the practice of slavery. think about it for a second. our ancestors were fighting to continue to keep human beings as slaves and continue the imaginable acts that a cure that -- that occurred when it somebody is held against their will. i am not proud of this heritage. these acts were wrong, wrong, wrong.